October Wrap Up

Hello! and Happy November slash Sunday. I have a list of blog things I want to write, for once, I know. No really-i have even gone back to my circa 2013 thing of writing things by hand first. Anyway, I digress. Before we get into the swing of newness, it's time to reflect on last month. October was good-if not a tad messy at times. I guess the main takeaway there was, things happen outside our control and it is what it is. Anyway, October wrap up is below, after the ellipses...

Five Things Loved

Saltwater x Jessica Andrews: What a book. I very reluctantly returned this to the library after finishing it which probably says it all. I didn't want to give it back in other words. Saltwater is a dreamy debut. It's moving, complex and deeply examines and untwists the mother-daughter relationship. Not only that, but the way in which our histories and what happens to us growing up shapes us. It's done in a very lyrical, poetic way and I loved that about it. It also gave me Jacqueline Wilson vibes as well, in the best kind of way. Saltwater is definitely one of the best debuts I have read in a long time.

Moulin Rouge on Broadway: Have I magicked myself to New York? Ha, I WISH. So I loved and still love Moulin Rouge, the film. Anyway, when I heard it was a musical part of me was like "oh no". I needn't have worried, if the cast recording is anything to go by because oh my god it is good. No really. I have kinda obsessively been listening to it for most of October and even now. My favourite tracks are: Shut Up & Raise Your Glass, Nature Boy (it's so simple and pared back and ugh LOVE), Crazy Rolling, Elephant Love Medley. Royals x Lorde even makes an appearance in there too. It is a good time. 

Bullet Journalling: I used to do a loose-ish bullet journal maybe a year or so back and I decided to reinstate it because it works well for me. To put it really loosely, I am one of those people who likes to 'see' and plan on paper, not a screen. I have never been an iCal kind of person. I know, luddite-ish of me but eh. I am who I am. I use this journal from Kikki K's 'She Shines' collection and I love it. I use it to log what I read, blog post ideas, non-blog story ideas, track Christmas shopping and a myriad of other things. I don't take it too seriously, you won't see any of those beautiful illustrations and intricate lettering but I find it effective and it works well for me. 

Niaski: Props to Claire from Madame Fancy Pants for bringing Niaski to my attention. Nia is an illustrator based in Devon and she creates work of cats posing as her favourite artists, aptly inspired by her own cats. So basically this is my dream. Cats and artists and cat themed pun-names, I mean Salvador Catli anybody (see below). I grabbed some bits from Madame Fancy Pants in October, the calendars are sold out now I think eek so glad I acted quickly but you can still grab this pin which I also got. As you can imagine I am incredibly modest and don't point it out to anyone whenever it is worn. That is an official lie, Meowton John deserves to be seen. Anyway, if cats and artists are your jam like they are mine, get amongst. 

Trick Mirror x Jia Tolentino: This. Book. I tried and failed to do it justice at my book club so I will try again here. To paraphrase a conversation I had with someone else, Jia Tolentino has an unbelievably brilliant knack for combining ideas and references into an essay that perhaps we wouldn't typically think to place alongside one another. It never feels forced or too theoretical and dry, thank goodness. This is easily another of my favourite reads of 2019. I particularly loved the introductory essay, The 'I' in Internet but also her essays about women in literature, Internet scammers (Fyre Fest et al.), her musings on marriage; whether to pursue it or not. To be honest the whole book is brilliant. Well worth adding to your Christmas lists.

Five Good Things

American Idiot, the musical: So once upon a time, teenaged Sophie used to listen to and love American Idiot x Green Day. I had the CD and it was definitely on my iPod Mini (I know, SO retro lol). Anyway, when I heard the musical was coming to Auckland I was kinda uncertain about seeing it. It wasn't until I saw friends and peers online raving about it that my curiosity was amplified. Anyway long story short, it was AMAZING. Was it the best piece of theatre I've ever seen? Not necessarily but the whole experience and the way that album translates to a stage show is just....exquisite. It even made me a bit teary eyed at the magnificence. So good. 

GSD: Aka 'the one where Sophie gets shit done', admittedly with a little bit of help from my friends but anyway. I dunno, I don't really want to go into the finer details but I managed to knock out some pretty big things this month-some I'd been subconsciously avoiding, others I had just been meaning to do but hadn't felt confident enough to for whatever reason. And it felt. good. It's awesome seeing goals you have slowly but surely coming to fruition. 

Advent Calendar 2.0: You may remember I made an Advent Calendar last year for one of my friends. I enjoyed it so much that I knew it was going to be happening again. During October I more or less finalised the entire thing, I think I started working on it in March(!!). Anyway, I am so excited to put it together and show you the process+elements in the next month or so. I feel like I have upped the ante, but in a good way,

Dog Parks: Bit of a random inclusion, sure, but I have loved taking our family dog to some of Auckland's dog parks. Even if she does decide it's prime opportunity to go swimming. I mean, if she's enjoying herself I can't complain. Plus, I get to see all the dogs and that just makes my heart happy. Such a good time. Myself+the dog rate the Onehunga Bay Reserve in particular but the dog park at the Auckland Botanical Gardens is also worth a visit and is always very busy.

Reading in the Sun: Ok, so I am referring to one specific moment of this, over the long weekend. Summer finally felt like a 'legitimate' thing and not just an urban myth. I whipped out the round towel, some strawberries, water (sadly no bubbles in the fridge lol but anyway), and books. And I read. Did I get a bit sunburnt? Kinda, the perks of being pale+overly optimistic about UV Rays. It was bliss though and I am looking forward to doing more of it over the Summer months. 

Read in October

I read eight books (or thereabouts) during October but seeing as this post was already getting book heavy, I am going to endeavour to keep it short and sweet. 

Lost and Somewhere Else x Jenny Bornholdt: I need to start writing proper notes, in lieu of no longer putting reviews on Goodreads. Anyway, it's been a while since I read this but I remember thoroughly enjoying it. I've read a few volumes of poetry, some more cohesive than others, and proofread better. Anyway, generalised niggles aside-I had no qualms with this volume. I loved how it was also interspersed with imagery and it's definitely on my list of books I need to have on my shelves. You can read one of the poems here

Year of the Monkey* x Patti Smith: I've already written about this book around these parts but I had to include it again. It is a book of dreams and stories. Recollections, travels, black coffee (of course), photography. As I've said, I would read Patti Smith's grocery lists. I loved this thin slip of a book immensely.

The Rainbow Queen x Sali Hughes: A bit of a different one, the Queen's outfits, colour coordinated and charmingly presented alongside captions by Sale Hughes. As well as anecdotes about the Queen and other bits & pieces. It would be a good stocking stuffer for The Crown fans and fashion fans in general.  

-What did you love during October?

*Review Copy

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